Ring of Pain is the second game and first roguelike from studio Twice Different, but you wouldn’t guess it from the polish and design on display. Don’t let the name fool you: this game is a ton of fun as long as you can get a handle on all the moving parts beneath the hood. And that’s where we come in: use these Ring of Pain tips and tricks to ensure the only ones feeling pain in that ring are your enemies.
Ring of Pain tips and tricks
As is always the way, these tips are designed for newcomers to not only the game but the genre. That being said, these Ring of Pain tips and tricks will see you right if you ever feel like you’ve started struggling for no reason. Sometimes you just need a refresher, and that’s where this comes in.
Understand your stats
You will scrounge a mountain of treasure as you delve into the Ring again and again, and it comes in two flavours: gear and one-time stat increases. But all those numbers and modifiers can be tricky to balance in your mind. Here’s a quick rundown on what attributes you rock and how they help you survive.
Attack – This one is pretty straight forward: the more of it you have, the more damage you deal to an enemy’s health pool, But of course, that’s offset by…
Defence – Raise this to negate damage from incoming attacks equal to your defence score. Any extra can protect you against piercing damage or parry a blow altogether.
Speed – Another ostensible no-brainer. If you want to hit first, it all comes down to speed. Ties are decided by an internal coin flip. Speed also affects your dodge and sneak, but put a pin in those for now.
Clarity – This stat pulls a lot of weight. First and foremost, it increases the number of souls gained from defeating monsters. Those souls are used to purchase items and unlock chests. But it also affects your critical hit chance, curse resistance (more important than you think), and health gained from potions.
It’s hard to overstate this: Clarity is the most important stat in the game.
Critical Hit – Raises your chance to hit for double damage. You won’t ever stack enough to rely on this effect. Appreciate when it happens, but don’t plan your build around it.
Dodge – Exactly as advertised. Along with parry, this stat allows you to weave out of the direction of an incoming attack. Definitely handy, but definitely unreliable in a pinch. Remember: your speed affects this.
Sneak – Increases the chance you slip by monsters without incurring attacks as you pass. Beyond clarity, this is the state you should focus on increasing each run. Positioning is all-important in Ring of Pain, and you will regularly find yourself in a situation where your only option is to escape. Sneak lets you do so without consequence. Remember: your speed affects this.
Early in your time with Ring of Pain, everything will feel new. Fresh horrors await through every corridor, and you’ll have no idea yet what to make of that creepy owl. Casting a light into the game’s many nooks and crevices won’t just make the experience more fun, it might help you succeed in the process.
Prioritize the unknown
The doors connecting each randomized room are themselves randomized and can lead to reprieves or ambushes. Each initial occurrence will show a question mark above the door. Do not be afraid to venture into the unknown. You won’t be completing this game in one go, and knowledge, as they say, is power. Your future self will thank you for discerning which colour light streaming through a door indicates a room full of puppies (not an exaggeration) and which is an ambush of explosive blobs.
Talk with The Void and The Owl
You aren’t entirely alone down in the twisted nightmare of the Ring. Two denizens will show up regularly, the cheery and frankly frightening Owl, and the unknowable and sombre void. Each will reveal details about themselves, the player character, and the circumstances that brought you here. Some of them might even bestow a scavenged prize. Just… don’t listen too closely. One of the two has ulterior motives.
Peace(ing out) is always an option
Of course your run benefits from every soul and scrap of gear you can wring from the Ring. Of course, you want to watch all of those cards blast away under your amassed power. But sometimes that bravado will land you between a rock monster and an impossible sneak chance. A dead adventurer makes no progress, and you can’t take your gear with you into the next life. Always keep an eye on the door as you explore, and be ready to split if your health is looking slim.
Synergy a go-go
Some of the rarer offerings will provide benefits if paired with other items of its kin, or obviously synergize with other combat effects like freeze, poison or deflect. The chance of grabbing more than two of either kind can be frustratingly slim, but it’s worth appreciating a whole greater than the sum of its parts.
Health potions are for celebrating
Scattered among the beast and treasures in each room will lie some delicious red health potions, each refilling a hefty chunk of vitality. And it can be tempting to top off before swiping that rot dog off the table. But consider how much punishment you can take beforehand so that you maximize the return. Any extra health is wasted, and the potions are precious resources indeed.
Always Choose a Weapon
Treasure chests will offer you a binary choice of prizes if you choke up the souls to unlock their contents. And while each piece of gear is necessary for survival, nothing makes delving easier than a weapon. If your fightin’ hands are empty and one shows up in the wilds of the Ring, it’s almost always in your best interest to lunge for it. Unless it’s The Spoon, I’d love to hear how that piece of garbage would ever help me.
Jason is the Editor of The Indie Game Website. He’s a lover of roguelikes, soulslikes, and other kinds of likes. He basically spends a lot of time getting beaten up in games and seems to enjoy it.